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“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” Joshua 1:9

August 16, 2016

Day 4 - Castle Mary

 4th August 

It was as if we had taken a step back in time. As if we had arrived at a grand hotel in the midst of all this greenery, where time stands still and Louis Armstrong and his gang play live music to the beat of a bouncy dance routine. I could just about imagine handing my bag to a concierge, and being led to my double room with an open fireplace and ensuite bathroom. Only time will tell if this will be a reality, and not a dream of times past ...

We woke up to the sun shining in to Danielle and my double rooms. As we both sat at the morning table, and ate our breakfasts (Danielle had cereal and I had my usual: poached egg on toast with tea), we discussed what we would do today.

Would we do anything? We could just sit and talk ...

We went outside into Danielle's large garden to do some more thinking.

Awesome rope swing in their garden, nearby the "bus stop" which is the covered area to my right where you can sit and read peacefully :)
It was spectacular!!
I then had the opportunity to play my favourite card game called "SkipBo" with Danielle, her mum and brother. They were all very competitive ;)

Who won again? I think it was Caroline, Danielle's mum ;)

After some further thinking and brainstorming, we decided to bake some scones to take with us as a picnic afternoon tea at a nearby ruined Castle Mary. I thought that sounded so enchanting, and Danielle had made huge plans to renovate this ruined castle in her future, so I was all for going!!

We then made the scones, one batch with orange peel (as I had been inspired from my bike ride with Caroline talking with Ursula), and the other half plain. The original is always so good!

We put them in the oven, and cleaned up after ourselves. We are VERY good girls ;)

After 15 minutes we opened the oven, took them out, and laid them to rest. We couldn't resist taking one to try, and I shared an orange peel scone with Caroline, which was heavenly all warm from the oven!!

Danielle's mum had to leave to the shops to get some ingredients for lunch, so Danielle and I amused ourselves for a while. We were getting quite hungry by this stage, so we decided to taste test a plain scone this time. We had half each, with butter, cream and jam.

It was like biting into a crunchy cloud!!

After lunch, and packing our back packs with scones, jam, cream, butter, tea, milk and a thermos (I contributed by packing the milk in my small backpack ;), we began our walk.

Beginnings of our journey!!
Passing a field of cows
Descending into the castle 
It was full of ferns, so it was difficult to wind our way through the mazed walls 
The amazing doorway!! You can still see the lovely features
It was a huge castle!! It would have had around 4 floors!! 
Lush ferns
Amazing features of the doorway and windows

We then thought it was time to have our picnic, so I suggested getting up onto one of the high windowsills to eat our scones. 

Here I am after getting up on the windowsill ;) We were looking into a room, possibly a lounge room, where you could see the remains of a fireplace.
Danielle came up with the amazing idea to use a pen that I had in my bag as a knife, as we completely forgot one!! We wrapped it in cling film, as she does at work when creating a frozen vase, and wahlaa!!
My scone all dressed up, and tea in the background ;) We had also forgotten mugs as well. haha
This is the view we were looking out on from the windowsill where we ate afternoon tea
I had to take a photo of Danielle here, because it is her dream to renovate this castle in her future. Never know how much this photo might be worth the it is all renovated ;) 
Here I am below the windowsill we had eaten on. As you can see, it was quite high up!!
After finishing our meal, and packing up, Danielle took the car, which Caroline drove to us, to work. Caroline and I then walked back to their house through some lovely paddocks.

The road we took 
Amazing views over County Cork

I increasingly felt inspired to paint these rolling hills, but alas, I cannot paint :( Perhaps you can? ;) 
 We then arrived back home, and we had a lovely afternoon of not doing much ;) When Danielle's dad got home from work, Caroline, Michael and I all had tea in the bus stop in the garden, which I showed to you previously.

We then decided that, because it was high tide for a couple of hours, we should go sailing.

The amazing sailing boat we went on. Danielle's parents knew the people who owned this boat, and can use it when they are not using it :) 
It was very fun!! I did get wet, from the water splashing up onto the seats, but that is all part of the experience :) 
Michael steering the sails. He told us what to do with the front sail, and when to change sides of the boat. 
We went to the other side of the water body, and then sailed back again. It was quite gusty in the area which was shielded by trees, so it was difficult to predict the wind's direction.

When we got back to where we parked our car, Caroline and I had to get out of the boat to wait for Michael to dock the boat, and when I was walking in the water to get back to shore I fell into the water ;) There was a small drop off in the seabed, and so my jeans got soaked!! Thinking back, that could have been where I got my cold that I now have ... ;)

When I got back I googled Castle Mary, and this is what it looks like from above. 
This is Castle Mary in 1785, when it was built. It was burnt down in 1920. 
If you want to know more about the Castle, click the caption of the sketch above.

Now you are uptodate,

Laura xoxo

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